ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY

Table of Contents

 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY

INTRODUCTION

In November 2010, President Alan Kadish appointed a broadly representative Task Force on Academic Integrity to examine the issue of Academic Integrity throughout the Touro College and University System. The Task Force was charged with the following mission:

  1. To examine the current academic culture with regard to cheating and plagiarism, and the practices and policies of the various Schools and Divisions of the Touro College and University System (TUCS) regarding the same.
  2. To consider issues concerning student plagiarism at Touro and recommend appropriate ways and best practices to eliminate the phenomenon, to the extent that it exists.
  3. To analyze Touro’s approach to test administration and exam security—including repeating test questions, use of proctors, etc.—and recommend additional policies and actions, as appropriate.
  4. To recommend a comprehensive structure and framework at Touro to ensure Academic Integrity throughout its schools, campuses, and programs.

In addressing the issues raised by the President, the Touro College and University System, under the leadership of the Task Force, joined the International Center for Academic Integrity (based in Clemson University), conducted surveys of faculty, administration, and students, and examined best practices in all areas concerning academic integrity both within the Touro College and University System and throughout academic institutions nationally and internationally.  The Task Force has sought to define Policies and Procedures that are clear, uniform, and appropriate to address issues of Academic Integrity at Touro.  The Touro College and University System owes a debt of gratitude to the Presidential Task Force, the members of which are listed in the Appendix.

In developing the TCUS Policy on Academic Integrity, the Task Force drew freely from exemplary policy documents that were already in place within units of the Touro College and University System, including those of the New York Medical College, the Touro College School of Health Sciences, Touro University-California and Touro University-Nevada.  A college-wide survey was conducted in conjunction with Dr. Donald McCabe at Rutgers University, President of the Center for Academic Integrity.  His participation and advice have been invaluable.

This document contains a Statement on Academic Integrity Policy followed by a comprehensive presentation of Violations of Academic Integrity.  Additionally, this document provides Best Practices in the Promotion of Academic Integrity to be adopted by faculty, staff, and students regarding training, test administration, and plagiarism detection.  Finally, the document delineates Procedures in Response to Violations of Academic Integrity, and contains Recommendations on Implementation of this Policy. 

As Dr. Kadish instructed the Task Force, “The issue of Academic Integrity is one that affects every unit and individual involved in academic life.”  It is our hope that the Policies and Procedures Statement will foster Academic Integrity throughout the Touro College and University System.

STATEMENT ON ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Touro College and University System is a community of scholars and learners committed to maintaining the highest standards of personal integrity in all aspects of our professional and academic lives. Because intellectual integrity is a hallmark of scholarly and scientific inquiry as well as a core value of the Jewish tradition, students and faculty are expected to share a mutual respect for teaching, learning and the development of knowledge. They are expected to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, fairness, professional conduct of academic work and respect for all community members.

Academic dishonesty undermines our shared intellectual culture and our ability to trust one another. Faculty and administration bear a major responsibility for promoting a climate of integrity, both in the clarity with which they state their expectations and in the vigilance with which they monitor students. Students must avoid all acts of dishonesty, including, but not limited to, cheating on examinations, fabricating, tampering, lying and plagiarizing, as well as facilitating or tolerating the dishonesty of others. Academic dishonesty lowers scholastic quality and defrauds those who will eventually depend on the knowledge and integrity of our graduates.

The Touro College and University System views violation of academic integrity with the utmost gravity. Such violations will lead to appropriate sanctions, up to and including expulsion from the college community. We commit ourselves to the shared vision of academic excellence that can only flourish in a climate of integrity.

The Touro College and University System's policy on academic integrity, which is outlined in this document, is designed to guide students as they prepare assignments, take exams, and perform the work necessary to complete their degree requirements, and to provide a framework for faculty in fostering an intellectual environment based on the principles of academic integrity.

The International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI), of which the Touro College and University System is a member, identifies five fundamental values of academic integrity that must be present if the academic life of an institution is to flourish: Honesty, Trust, Fairness, Respect, and Responsibility.1 To sustain these values, the TCUS Academic Integrity Policy, modeled after that of Rutgers University 2, requires that a student or researcher:

  1. Properly acknowledge and cite all ideas, results, or words originally produced by others;
  2. Properly acknowledge all contributors to any piece of work;
  3. Obtain all data or results using ethical means;
  4. Report researched data without concealing any results inconsistent with student's conclusions;
  5. Treat fellow students in an ethical manner, respecting the integrity of others and the right to pursue educational goals without interference. Students may neither facilitate another student's academic dishonesty, nor obstruct another student's academic progress;
  6. Uphold ethical principles and the code of the profession for which the student is preparing.

Adherence to these principles is necessary to ensure that:

  1. Proper credit is given for ideas, words, results, and other scholarly accomplishment;
  2. No student has an inappropriate advantage over others;
  3. The academic and ethical development of students is fostered;
  4. The Touro College and University System is able to maintain its reputation for integrity in teaching, research, and scholarship.

Failure to uphold the principles of academic integrity threatens not only the reputation of Touro, but also the value of each and every degree awarded by the institution. All members of the Touro community bear a shared responsibility for ensuring that the highest standards of academic integrity are upheld.

The Touro College and University System administration is responsible for working with faculty and students to promote an institutional culture of academic integrity, for providing effective educational programs that create a commitment to academic integrity, and for establishing fair procedures to deal with allegations of violations of academic integrity.

VIOLATIONS OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

The following are considered to be violations of academic integrity and are prohibited by the Touro College and University System. Students, faculty, and other members of the Touro College and University System community who are in violation of one of the offenses listed below or similar such offenses or who assist in the commission of such offenses may be subject to sanctions as described below in the section "Procedures in Response to Violations of Academic Integrity."

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use of the writings, ideas and/or computer-generated material of others without appropriate acknowledgement and the representation of them as one's own original work. Plagiarism encompasses acts of inadvertent failure to acknowledge sources, as well as improper attribution due to poor citation.

When using ideas/words from other sources, the student must clearly define the sources using standard methods of citation. Plagiarism can occur even when one does not use the exact words of another author. Paraphrasing written material by changing or rearranging words without the proper attribution is still considered plagiarism (even if it eludes identification by plagiarism detection software). It is therefore critically important that students understand how to cite. If students have any questions about the proper use and citation of material from other sources, they should seek help from their professors.

INTENTIONAL PLAGIARISM

Plagiarism takes many forms. Flagrant forms, or intentional plagiarism, as stated in the Thesis Guidelines of the New York Medical College 3, include, but are not limited to: purchasing or copying a paper from the Internet or from a fellow student or anyone else, whether or not that paper has been published; copying or cutting and pasting portions of others' work (whether a unique phrase, sentence, paragraph, chart, picture, figure, method or approach, experimental results, statistics, etc.) without attribution; copying clinical notes/materials without personally performing the patient examination. Plagiarized sources may include not only print material but also computer programs, CD-ROM video/audio sources, emails and material from social media sites and blogs, as well as assignments completed by other students at Touro College and University System and elsewhere. A more subtle, but equally flagrant, form is paraphrasing or attempting to put in one's own words the theories, opinions or ideas of another without proper citation.

Students may not reuse their own previous work without appropriate citation. This is a form of plagiarism called self-plagiarism, and may mislead the reader or grader into the erroneous belief that the current submission is new work to satisfy an assignment.

Students are cautioned against assuming that a fact or idea is common knowledge and are encouraged to provide citation, to deflect a charge of plagiarism.

UNINTENTIONAL PLAGIARISM

Plagiarism is not only the failure to cite but the failure to cite sources properly. If a source is cited but in an inadequate way, the student(s) may still be guilty of unintentional plagiarism. It is therefore crucial that students understand the correct way to cite. The rules are relatively simple:

  1. For exact words, use quotation marks or a block indentation, with the citation.
  2. For a summary or paraphrase, show exactly where the source begins and exactly where it ends.

In its policies and disciplinary procedures, the Touro College and University System will seek to recognize and differentiate its penalties between intentional plagiarism (as defined above) and failure to cite sources properly. However, both forms are violations.

Cheating on Examinations and Other Class/Fieldwork Assignments

The Student Code of Academic Integrity at the New York Medical College4 defines cheating as improperly obtaining and/or using unauthorized information or materials to gain an advantage on work submitted for evaluation. Providing or receiving assistance unauthorized by the instructors is also cheating.

Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to:

  1. Giving or receiving unauthorized assistance to or from another person on quizzes, examinations, or assignments;
  2. Using materials or devices not specifically authorized during any form of a test or examination;
  3. Exceeding the restrictions put in place for "take home" examinations, such as unauthorized use of library sources, intranet or Internet sources, or unauthorized collaboration on answers;
  4. Sitting in for someone else or permitting someone to sit in for you on any form of test or examination;
  5. Working on any form of test or examination beyond the allotted time; hiding, stealing or destroying materials needed by other students;
  6. Altering and resubmitting for re-grading any assignment, test or examination;
  7. Copying from another individual's examination or providing information to another student during an examination;
  8. Soliciting, obtaining, possessing or providing to another person an examination prior to the administration of the examination.

Examples of unauthorized assistance include3:

  1. Giving or receiving person-to-person assistance or information in any manner, including notes, text messages, or e-mails, during an examination or in the preparation of other assignments without the authorization of the instructor;
  2. Using crib sheets or unauthorized notes (unless the instructor provides explicit permission);
  3. Copying from another individual's exam.

Failure to comply with any and all Touro College and University System test procedures will be considered a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.

Research Misconduct and Other Unethical Conduct

The integrity of the scientific enterprise requires adherence to the highest ethical standards in the conduct of research and research training. Therefore, students and other trainees conducting research are bound by the same ethical guidelines that apply to faculty investigators. These standards are described briefly in the New York Medical College Guidelines for Ethical Practices in Research and Policies for Dealing with Instances of Alleged Violations of Ethical Standards5 and more fully in the US Public Health Service Policies on Research Misconduct6.

Research misconduct is defined in the USPHS Policy as "fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results."6 When appropriate, adjudication will be conducted according to Touro College and University System's Guidelines for Ethical Practices in Research cited above.

In the Student Code of Academic Integrity, the New York Medical College uses the following as examples of research misconduct4:

FABRICATION

Fabrication means making up information, data, or research results, or pretending to have performed experiments that were not, in fact, conducted.

FALSIFICATION

Falsification means inappropriately altering or manipulating data, images, or information on clinical or laboratory records, practicum experiences, research results, equipment, and/or processes so that one possible conclusion or interpretation is favored over others.

PLAGIARISM (AS RESEARCH MISCONDUCT)

Plagiarism, on its own a violation of academic integrity, may additionally constitute research misconduct if it is committed in the context of a research effort.

MISLEADING OR FRAUDULENT BEHAVIOR

Misleading or fraudulent behavior, put simply, is lying, and includes acts contributing to or associated with lying. It takes on any form of fabrication, falsification or misrepresentation.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Reporting false information to gain an advantage;
  2. Omitting information or data resulting in misrepresenting or distorting findings or conclusions;
  3. Providing false information to explain lateness or to be excused from an assignment, class or clerkship function;
  4. Falsely accusing another of misbehavior, or otherwise misrepresenting information about another;
  5. Providing false information about oneself, such as on an application or as part of some competition;
  6. Taking credit for accomplishments achieved by another;
  7. Omitting relevant information about oneself.

TAMPERING

Unauthorized removal or alteration of College documents (e.g., library books, reference materials, official institutional forms, correspondence), software, equipment, or other academic-related materials, including other students' work, for the purpose of gaining an unfair academic advantage. It should be noted that tampering as a form of cheating may also be classified as criminal activity and may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Tearing out the pages of an article from a library journal to prevent other students from having access to the required reading material;
  2. Intentionally sabotaging another student's work;
  3. Altering a student's academic transcript, letter of recommendation, or some other official college document;
  4. Electronically changing another student's or colleague's files, data, assignments, or reports.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATIONS

Academic integrity prohibits the making of unauthorized copies of copyrighted material, including software and any other non-print media. Individuals, under the legal doctrine of "fair use", can make a copy of an article or copy small sections of a book for personal use, or may use an image to help teach a concept. As a general rule, if you think you might be violating the copyright law, you probably are. Examples of copyright violations include:

  1. Making or distributing copies of a copyrighted article for a group (on paper or electronically)
  2. Disseminating an image or video of an artist's work without permission (such as a Netter® or Adam® anatomical drawing) without permission;
  3. Copying large sections of a book.

The "fair use doctrine" regarding use of copyrighted materials can be found at the following link: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

BEST PRACTICES IN THE PROMOTION OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

By Faculty

Academic integrity is the responsibility of all members of the Touro College and University System. As educators, we are obligated to demonstrate by word and action the importance of this core value. As members of the Touro College and University System, faculty members are committed to the pursuit of truth and the advancement of knowledge, tasks that can be realized only in an environment fully supportive of academic integrity. Faculty members are therefore expected to participate fully in establishing an academic environment in which the principles of integrity are understood and practiced by students.

Training Faculty and Staff

Since promoting academic integrity is a shared responsibility, it is important that appropriate training and support be offered to both faculty and staff throughout the school year.

  1. Faculty development programs shall include training regarding educational resources to promote academic integrity, such as articles/case studies, websites and tutorials.
  2. Faculty development shall also include training in examination security and plagiarism prevention, including how to detect different types of plagiarism and awareness of proper citation.
  3. Orientation, Faculty Development Days, and Faculty Assembly shall include opportunities to disseminate the policies and disciplinary procedures of Academic Integrity at the Touro College and University System.

Training Students

Factors that may influence cheating and plagiarism among students are grade pressure, time pressure, task pressure, negative personal attitude, lack of awareness, and lack of competence. It is, therefore, important to provide adequate training of students regarding all of the relevant parts of this Academic Integrity policy, as well as with as much education and as many opportunities as possible to learn about citation styles, proper writing skills, and plagiarism avoidance.

Students may find online resources, such as the self-test created by the University of Southern Mississippi, "How much have you learned about Plagiarism"7 useful in clarifying how prepared they are in this area. This test is available to TCUS students via the Touro College Library Website.

Student Orientation programs shall include sessions on Touro's Academic Integrity policy, and each student shall be provided with a copy of the policy at that time. Furthermore, each student must sign an honor statement. Since many Touro schools or units are mission-based or profession-oriented, the ethical values of the school mission should be referenced in the statement. Students will also be required to complete a library-developed session or sessions that demonstrate research method, information literacy, and proper use of sources.

Faculty members are expected to promote academic integrity in the following ways in their classes:

  1. Describe academic integrity policies on the first day of class, and refer, in class, to the policy of the Touro College and University System, including appeal processes.
  2. Include a clear statement in the class syllabus with a reference to the Touro College and University System's academic integrity policy (including the website where the policy may be found).
  3. Create process-based or plagiarism-proof assignments (examples are abundant and available, if needed). Require up-to-date references. Assign oral reports.
  4. Require that all term reports be submitted electronically, preferably through Blackboard. Students must be informed that the submitted material will be checked by the instructor for plagiarism.
  5. Professors may choose to add an honor pledge to each written assignment and exam for students to sign.

Testing Procedures

In order to reduce the opportunity for cheating on examinations, faculty members should employ the following best practices whenever possible:

TEST PREPARATION

  1. Modify or replace a significant portion of the exam questions each time an exam is re-administered in a course or administered in a separate section.
  2. For courses with large numbers of students and close seating, prepare multiple versions of an exam for that section.
  3. Prepare different versions of multiple choice exams for use in EACH section of a course, and two separate exams for very large sections.
  4. Develop, to the extent possible, "cheat proof" essay or problem-solving questions.
  5. Prepare a different version of the exam for make-up exams.

A copy of each examination is to be filed with the Department Chairperson or Dean so that he or she can maintain a historical file on exams used in the course.

TEST DUPLICATION AND STORAGE

  1. Type exams on a secure computer. Do not use Touro computer labs, where students, work/study students and/or lab technicians can access the files.
  2. Print and copy exams on secure printers and copiers.
  3. When duplicating examinations, do the copying yourself, or have a trustworthy administrative assistant do the copying for you. Ensure that all original copies are removed from the copiers and copy room.
  4. Store exams in a secure place, such as the Department office or the faculty member's paper or computer files. All exams must be stored in locked file cabinets and secured computers.

TEST ADMINISTRATION: PAPER EXAMINATIONS

  1. Be present during examinations and actively proctor your own examinations. The Touro College and University System may supplement the proctoring by assigning extra proctors.
  2. Do not permit students to have any electronic devices (including cell phones, smartphones, iPads or other tablet computers, and flash drives) or personal belongings (purses, backpacks) at their desks during the examination.
  3. Separate students by at least one seat, if space permits.
  4. Maintain control of the paper (including scrap) used during the exams.

TEST ADMINISTRATION: ONLINE TESTS

  1. Use appropriate web-browser lock-down software, and a web-cam, as appropriate.

POST-TEST PROCEDURES

  1. If students are permitted to review their exams, conduct the post-exam review in a secure manner, just as you administered the test.
  2. All exams must be collected at the end of the review period.

Detecting Plagiarism

The Touro College and University System offers SafeAssign, a plagiarism detection system accessed through Blackboard. SafeAssign helps faculty prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers. Though not 100% foolproof, particularly in instances of paraphrase or translation, SafeAssign does act as a plagiarism deterrent, and has features designed to help educate students about plagiarism and the importance of proper attribution of any "borrowed" content.

In addition to SafeAssign, faculty can avail themselves of other anti-plagiarism search engines such as Yahoo! Google, Google Scholar, Plagiarism.Org, AltaVista, Lycos and library databases.

There are many excellent sources of information on plagiarism detection. One of the best is Harris, R.A. (2001). The Plagiarism Handbook. Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.

BEST PRACTICES IN THE PROMOTION OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY IN ONLINE EDUCATION

The Touro College and University System is particularly sensitive to the challenges of academic integrity in online education because of the physical separation between faculty member and student. The online teaching environment poses specific difficulties regarding the administration of examinations and the assessment of student work. These challenges compel the College and University System to be conversant with developments and best practices in the field of online education, and to be receptive to both new opportunities and challenges associated with emerging technologies as they are being developed and implemented.

Following are a number of best practices for promoting academic integrity in online education8:

Faculty Training and Implementation

  1. Admission to online educational programs should be monitored carefully to ensure the integrity of the admissions application process as well as materials submitted to support the admissions application.
  2. A secure student login and personalized password (meeting identity management system standards) should be required to access online courses and related resources, discussions, assignments and assessments. Information gathered as part of the identity management system for these purposes must be safeguarded carefully to protect student privacy.
  3. Guidance on academic integrity issues in online education should be incorporated routinely in the training and orientation materials provided to online faculty.
  4. A link to the Touro College and University System Academic Integrity website should be provided to online faculty for incorporation in their course materials.
  5. Online faculty should be made aware of general Touro College and University System policies and procedures on academic integrity and the reporting procedure (see below) in the instance that suspected violations of academic integrity are discovered. Touro's Vice President of Online Education should also be notified of any action or decision concerning online academic integrity violations.

Guidelines to Faculty

  1. Faculty members should present clearly the academic integrity policy within the online learning environment at the beginning of the course. The course outline for the online course should contain an explicit heading and section on ACADEMIC INTEGRITY in which appropriate guidelines and policies would be detailed. Faculty should offer the students the opportunity to discuss the meaning of academic integrity using the course discussion board or chat room. The URL link to the Touro College and University System Academic Integrity policy should be included in course postings.
  2. Students should be required to read and sign an agreement to abide by the campus academic integrity policy. An effective way of accomplishing this is through a check-off box on the home page of the online course.
  3. In the instance that collaborative projects are assigned, faculty should clarify to students in writing under a specific course headline the appropriate ground rules for collaboration in online education. The consequences for failure to abide by the guidelines provided should be clarified in writing.
  4. Rubrics, or detailed grading criteria, should be provided for every assignment at the beginning of the course, so that students understand how they will be graded.

Multiple Assessment Strategies and Prevention of Plagiarism

  1. Ensuring the academic integrity of the assessment of student learning is an essential faculty responsibility. Therefore, faculty must be actively involved in structuring appropriate course assessment. Faculty may choose to use multiple assessment techniques in place of, or to lessen reliance on, final examinations. Indeed, most distance learning providers use multi-faceted assessment strategies rather than traditional final examinations. Assessments should be designed to be frequent, varied, and directly relevant to course learning objectives. One suggestion would be to make assignments cumulative (students turn in parts of a project or paper throughout the semester) to minimize opportunities for fraudulent submissions. Examples of learning and assessment activities include: interactive threaded discussions, writing assignments, quizzes, capstone projects, group work, and online exams.
  2. Assessment activities should be modified from semester to semester.
  3. Instructors should become familiar with students' writing styles through multiple submissions and online discussions.
  4. Plagiarism detection software (such as SafeAssign or Turnitin) should always be used for written assignments.
  5. Both the research process and the product should be evaluated. After an assignment is due, have students post on the discussion board, describing the assignment and the research method used, a summary of conclusions, and an abstract (a meta-learning essay).

Examinations

  1. Since the Touro College and University System is a multi-campus institution, it may be possible to provide physically-proctored examinations on campus for regular Touro students undertaking a course through distance learning. In these instances, faculty members are encouraged to use proctored test sites as appropriate. The primary responsibility for proctoring an examination remains with the instructor, wherever that is possible. For undergraduate courses, the assignment of any proctor other than the instructor must be at the direction of the Dean of Faculties or his/her designee. For graduate courses, the assignment of any proctor other than the instructor must be at the direction of the Dean/Director of the program.
  2. Students must be asked to provide a Touro ID or government-issued photo ID when they participate in a physically-proctored examination for a distance learning course. Students should be informed of this requirement when the examination is scheduled.
  3. In the instance that an examination is given online, faculty must be aware of academic integrity issues in the administration of these exams and consider appropriate steps to minimize these issues, such as those described below:
    1. Use test banks with large numbers of questions and pull a smaller number of questions from the test bank.
    2. Randomize the order of answers for multiple-choice questions, so that, for example, the correct answer for a particular question might be "a" for one student and "b" for another.
    3. Require forced completion on exams, so that students cannot re-enter a test.
    4. A Web browser lock-down service should be used during testing so that students cannot leave the exam once they have started.
  4. A variety of technological solutions to minimize the potential for cheating on online examinations are emerging, including online proctoring services and biometric measuring devices. At this point, the Touro College and University System has adopted no standard proctoring technology or approach for all online examinations. However, Touro will continue to monitor such technology, and such technology may be adopted by individual units on a pilot basis in coordination with the Touro Vice President of Online Education.

PROCEDURES IN RESPONSE TO VIOLATIONS OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

This Touro College and University System Academic Integrity Policy applies to all students in each of Touro's schools. Any act in violation of this Policy or any allegation of misconduct related to this Policy involving a student must be reported and addressed in accordance with the adjudication procedures outlined below or those of the student's school, which at no time will be less stringent than the requirements and standards set forth in this Policy Statement.

Reporting a Case of Suspected Plagiarism or Cheating

Faculty members or other members of the Touro community who encounter cases of plagiarism or cheating should contact the Chair of the relevant department, and inform the offending student of such. The Chair will report the incident, in writing, to the Dean. The Chair will provide faculty with advice specific to the individual incident. No grade may be entered onto the student's record for the course in question before the issue is resolved, either informally or formally.

Resolution of Academic Integrity Violations

Students who are found to have violated the Touro College and University System's Standards of Academic Integrity are subject to sanctions. Each school (see Appendix II for listing of schools) shall designate the Dean responsible for adjudicating violations of Academic Integrity (herein referred to as the "Dean" except where otherwise noted). Depending on the school's Student Handbook or Bulletin, this may be the Dean of Students, the Dean of Faculties, or another appropriate responsible individual.

As stated above, incidents are reported to the department Chairperson, and a report by the Chair is submitted to the Dean. The method of resolution of the violation may be either informal or formal.

At the discretion of the Dean or Chair, the student may be removed from the class pending a resolution of the matter. Should a student action be of such a nature that it is felt that he or she must be relieved of his/her right to attend the Touro College and University System, the student may be temporarily suspended from the Touro College and University System upon recommendation of the Dean. In the case of suspension, an expedited formal hearing will be scheduled. Suspended students may not avail themselves of the informal resolution process.

INFORMAL RESOLUTION

The student and faculty member may resolve the issue informally—with notice to the Chair of the Department and the Chair's consultation with the Dean (which must be accompanied by a written synopsis of the matter)—and the faculty member, in consultation with the Chair, may impose any range of sanctions (Class C, D, or E) short of suspension and expulsion. If the student agrees to the decision, then any disposition will be final. Once accepted by the student, the decision of the faculty member and Chair is not subject to appeal, and is binding on both the student and faculty member.

The Chair must indicate whether the violation was a minor or inadvertent violation that is not subject to reporting, or whether the violation is significant enough to warrant reporting. The outcome of the informal resolution should be reported in writing to the Dean, who will maintain the record of significant violations for the duration of the student's academic career.

The informal resolution process is not available to individuals who have been previously reported.

FORMAL RESOLUTION

In the event that (1) the student denies the charge, (2) the student and faculty member do not agree to informal resolution, (3) the student is a repeat offender, or (4) for any other reason for which informal resolution is not appropriate as determined by the Chair or the Dean, then the matter shall be submitted for formal resolution.

The Touro College and University System has developed the following formal method of resolution to deal with academic integrity allegations and complaints.

To institute formal resolution, the following procedures shall be followed:

  1. The Dean receives a written statement from the instructor or any other complainant, as the case may be.
  2. The written statement must include the name of the involved student, the name and status of the reporting person, and the nature of the alleged act.
  3. The Dean shall arrange a hearing which, generally speaking, should take place no earlier than three (3) calendar days and no later than twenty (20) calendar days after receipt of the complaint.
  4. The hearing shall take place before the Standing Committee on Academic Integrity of the School. See Appendix II.
  5. All persons involved in a hearing shall be given adequate notice of all hearing dates, times and places. Such notice, which may be by e-mail and followed by a hard copy, will be given at least twenty-four hours prior to any hearing, unless waived by the parties involved.
  6. Postponements of Committee hearings may be made by the interested parties or the administration. The student may be granted a postponement if pertinent information or interested parties cannot for good cause be present at the appointed time. Any postponement may not extend beyond a three-month period.
  7. The student charged and the person making the charges will be afforded the following opportunities:
    1. To review, but not copy, all pertinent information to be presented to the Committee. The length of time for review shall be reasonable, as determined by the Committee Chair.
    2. To present fully all aspects of the issue before the Committee.

Committee Hearings will proceed under the following guidelines:

  1. All Committee hearings and meetings are to be closed sessions. The Committee may hear other people of its choosing who may be knowledgeable about the issue(s) under consideration, and may investigate relevant written reports, discussions with involved parties, examinations, papers, or other related documents.
  2. A quorum of this Committee must be present in order to conduct official business and render a decision.
  3. All decisions shall be made by majority vote, the mechanism to be determined by Committee membership.
  4. The student has the right to appear in person before the Committee in order to present his/her case, but, after proper notice of a hearing, the Committee may proceed, notwithstanding the student's absence.
  5. The hearing is academic in nature and non-adversarial. Representation by an attorney is not permitted.
  6. A recording secretary may be appointed by the Committee Chair. Transcripts of the proceedings are not mandatory or required.
  7. All issues in dispute shall be presented orally by the Committee Chair.
  8. All information supporting the charges made against a student shall be presented first. Following this presentation, the student who is under investigation will present his/her side of this issue, submitting to the Committee information that he/she chooses to submit to support the student's stance or position. The Dean, his or her designee, or other members of the Administration may also meaningfully participate in this information exchange. Pursuant to the Touro College and University System Code of Conduct, the student is expected not to obstruct the investigation or proceedings.
  9. At the completion of all discussions, the student and his/her accuser may each make a closing statement. The administration may also be afforded an opportunity to make a statement.
  10. At any time during the hearing the student, his/her accuser, the Committee, and/or the Touro College and University System's representatives may raise questions about the information under review so that all aspects of the case are clarified.

The Committee shall reach a decision using the following guidelines:

  1. The Committee will meet in closed session to reach a decision, including recommended sanctions, if applicable. Such meeting will generally be held within one school day following the hearing.
  2. If the Committee seeks additional information following commencement of its deliberations, it will notify the parties within two school days, and reconvene the hearing within five school days of the conclusion of the original hearing. The Committee's final decision must then be made.
  3. The Committee's decision must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing and will be the final disposition of the issues involved, including sanctions. The Committee's decision will be presented in writing to the Dean and the student.
  4. In the absence of an appeal, the Dean will transmit the Committee's decision to the Touro College and University System (TCUS) Academic Integrity Council. Solely in the event of a disparity or other irregularity in the sanction imposed, the TCUS Academic Integrity Council may remand the matter to the Dean, noting the new range of permissible sanction.

Academic Appeal Process

  1. Following notification of the Committee decision, a student may wish to appeal the decision. He or she has three (3) working days within which to submit a formal written appeal of the decision to the Dean of the Division or School. The appeal should be accompanied by a narrative explaining the basis for the appeal. The narrative should fully explain the student's situation and substantiate the reason(s) for advocating a reversal or modification of the decision by the Committee.
  2. After consideration of the Appeal, the Dean may accept, reject or modify the Committee's decision, and will notify the student in writing of the decision.
  3. The Dean, when notifying the student of the decision, shall inform the student of his/her right to appeal an adverse decision in the event the sanction imposed was a suspension, expulsion or revocation of the degree. In all other instances, the Dean's decision will be FINAL.
  4. A copy of the Dean's final decision will be transmitted to the Touro College and University System (TCUS) Academic Integrity Council. Solely in the event of a disparity or other irregularity in the sanction imposed, the TCUS Academic Integrity Council may remand the matter to the Dean, noting the new range of permissible sanctions, for action consistent with overall TCUS standards.

In the event the Dean and the Committee have decided to suspend, expel or revoke a student's degree, following notification of the Dean's decision, a student may wish to appeal the decision. He or she has five (5) working days within which to submit a formal written appeal of the decision to the respective Chief Academic Officer (e.g., the Provost or Senior Provost) or Presidential designee. The appeal should be accompanied by a narrative explaining the basis for the appeal. The narrative should fully explain the student's situation and substantiate the reason(s) for advocating a reversal of the prior recommendation or decision by the Committee or the Dean.

The Provost may grant an appeal only on the basis of one of the following:

  1. Evidence of bias of one or more of the members of the Committee or of the Dean.
  2. New material documenting information that was not available to the Committee or a relevant Dean at the time of the initial decision.
  3. Procedural error.

The Provost may interview the student, but will not conduct a hearing. The Provost will consider the merits of the appeal and may even consult the Chair of the Committee. The Provost will notify the student in writing of the appeal decision. The decision of the Provost shall be final.

Status of Student Pending Action

Pending resolution on charges, the status of the student will not be altered except in cases where the student has been suspended, in which case an expedited resolution procedure will be in effect. If a student is suspended for any reason, all as-yet undisbursed financial aid may be withheld unless or until the action is fully resolved and the student is reinstated. If reinstated, the financial aid funds can be released to the student. If the student is dismissed, the funds will be returned to the proper agency or lender.

Sanctions

Sanctions may be imposed by the faculty, the Dean or the Committee.

Sanctions may include the following or combinations thereof5:

  1. Class A Sanctions:
    1. Expulsion/dismissal;
    2. Revocation of awarded degree in the event that the violation is identified after graduation.
  2. Class B Sanctions:
    1. Suspension (up to twenty-four months)
  3. Class C Sanctions:
    1. Indication of the disciplinary action in a letter of reprimand, in reference letters, licensure and regulatory forms, etc.;
    2. Notification of the violation to the other schools within the Touro College and University System;
  4. Class D Sanctions:
    1. Placement on Probation;
    2. Failure in the course and requiring the student to repeat the entire course/clerkship;
  5. Class E Sanctions:
    1. Ordering student to take additional ethics tutorials intended to assist student to avoid future misconduct;
    2. Reduction of the grade for a particular submitted piece of work, segment of work required for a course/clerkship or the entire course/clerkship with or without the option of redoing the work;
    3. Requiring the student to redo the assignment;
  6. Other Sanctions:
    1. Other sanctions, as deemed just and proper. For example, repeat offenders may be subject to more stringent sanctions.

Recordkeeping

Records of the resolution of proceedings shall be kept in accordance with the following:

  1. If the Committee finds no merit in the allegation under discussion, the Touro College and University System records of the proceedings shall be sealed and secured in the office of the Dean until such time as any legal statute of limitations has expired. Upon the running of the limitations period, all records shall be destroyed. Should a need arise to open the sealed records, the Provost, Dean, or Chief Compliance Officer shall issue an order to open the record. These records will not go into a student's file.
  2. If the Committee determines that there is merit in the allegation, all matters relative to the resolution shall be entered in the student's academic file, with a copy held by the Dean.

A student may see his/her file in accordance with Touro College and University System regulations concerning inspection of records as spelled out in Guidelines for Access to and Disclosure of Educational Records Maintained by the Touro College and University System.

RECOMMENDATIONS ON IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY

Oversight of Policy

A Touro College and University System (TCUS) Academic Integrity Council will be appointed by the President. The TCUS Council will receive reports on resolution of Academic Integrity issues from the various units of the TCUS (as spelled out in the above policy) and would be responsible to oversee and report to the President annually on the implementation of the Academic Integrity policy throughout the Touro College and University System. The Council would also be responsible for recommending to the President any changes to this policy.

Distribution of Policy

The official Touro College and University System Policy on Academic Integrity should be distributed by the President's Office. It should be added to the Faculty Handbook, Student Handbook, etc.

Honor Statement

The TCUS Academic Integrity Council will draft a template of an Honor Statement that would be adopted by Division and Schools of the TCUS for use in their individual programs.

Conformance of Individual School Policies

This Touro College and University System Academic Integrity Policy applies to all students in each of Touro's schools. Any act in violation of this Policy or any allegation of misconduct related to this Policy involving a student is to be reported and addressed in accordance with the adjudication procedures outlined above or those of the student's school, which in no event will be less stringent than the requirements and standards set forth in this Policy Statement.

Within three months of the distribution of the Touro College and University System Policy on Academic Integrity, the Dean of each Touro School or Division shall inform the Touro College and University System Academic Integrity Council that the School has adopted the Touro College and University System Policy on Academic Integrity and the existence of the more stringent requirements, if any. In addition, the Dean of each Touro school or division will inform the TCUS Academic Integrity Council of the identity of the Dean designated as responsible for Academic Integrity and the composition of the Individual School Academic Integrity Committee consisting of at least three members, and preferably five. A quorum of such committee shall be three members.

REFERENCES

  1. Center for Academic Integrity. The fundamental values of academic integrity. 1999. http://www.academicintegrity.org/icai/assets/FVProject.pdf
  2. Rutgers University. Academic Integrity Policy. 2011 http://academicintegrity.rutgers.edu/files/documents/AI_Policy_9_01_2011.pdf
  3. New York Medical College: School of Health Sciences and Practice. Thesis Guidelines of the New York Medical College. 2011. http://library.nymc.edu/informatics/ThesisGuidelines.pdf
  4. New York Medical College. Student Code of Academic Integrity and Professionalism. 2010. http://www.nymc.edu/universitypolicies/StudentCodeofAcademicIntegrityandProfessionalism.html
  5. Includes elements of New York Medical College. New York Medical College Guidelines for Ethical Practices in Research and Policies for Dealing with instances of Alleged Violations of Ethical Standards. 2004. http://www.nymc.edu/Research/OfficeOfResearchAdministration/assets/Ethical_Practices_In_Research.pdf
  6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Services Policies on Research Misconduct; Final Rule. 2005. http://ori.hhs.gov/documents/42_cfr_parts_50_and_93_2005.pdf
  7. With permission from the USM Library to link the Plagiarism test on the website of Touro Libraries. University of Southern Mississippi Libraries
  8. Portions of the BEST PRACTICES IN THE PROMOTION OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY IN ONLINE EDUCATION section are based on the following sources: "Best Practice Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity in Online Education Version 2.0, June 2009" and "Student Authentication" available on the WICHE* Cooperative for Educational Technologies Website (http://wcet.wiche.edu/).
*Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

APPENDIX I

Members of the Task Force

Dr. Stanley Boylan, Chair, Vice President of Undergraduate Education and Dean of Faculties
Mr. David Raab, Chief of Staff to the President
Rabbi Moshe Krupka, Senior Vice President of College Affairs

Plagiarism Subcommittee
Professor April Schwartz, JD, Chair, Director of Law Library and Professor of Law
Professor Laurie Bobley, Coordinator of Online Education and Special Education
Dr. Howard Feldman, Chair, Faculty Senate; Professor of Biology, Lander College for Women
Ms. Sara Tabaei, Touro Library Information Literacy Services Director
Dr. Donne Kampel, Associate Dean of Faculties for Development and Evaluation

Examination Security Subcommittee
Dr. Jim O'Connor, Chair, Dean of the College of Education (COE), Touro University, California
Dr. Carole Beckford, Chair, Psychology, New York School of Career and Applied Studies (NYSCAS)
Dr. Jutta Guadagnoli, Associate Professor in Basic Sciences, Touro University, Nevada (TUN)
Dr. David Lenihan, Dean, Preclinical Medicine, Touro College of Osteopathy, NY (TouroCOM)
Dr. Anthony Polemeni, Vice President of Graduate Education and Dean, Graduate Division
Ms. Frada Harel, Chair, ESL and English, New York School of Career and Applied Studies (NYSCAS)

Campus Culture Subcommittee
Dr. Mark Press, Chair, Chair, Department of Psychology, Division of Undergraduate Studies
Dr. Nadja Graff, Associate Dean, School of Health Sciences
Dr. Gordon McCarter, Assistant Dean in the College of Pharmacy (COP), Touro University, California; Chair, COP Academic Standards Committee

Ex Officio
Mr. Michael Newman, JD, Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel, Touro College

APPENDIX II

Divisions and Schools of Touro College

DIVISION OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES
LANDER COLLEGE FOR MEN
LANDER COLLEGE FOR WOMEN – THE ANNA RUTH AND MARK HASTEN SCHOOL
LANDER COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES IN FLATBUSH
NEW YORK SCHOOL OF CAREER AND APPLIED STUDIES
SCHOOL FOR LIFELONG EDUCATION
INSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL STUDIES (IPS) – MACHON L'PARNASA
TOURO COLLEGE SOUTH

DIVISION OF GRADUATE STUDIES
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF JEWISH STUDIES
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY
THE SCHOOL OF HEALTH SCIENCES

THE JACOB D. FUCHSBERG LAW CENTER

TOURO COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE – TouroCOM

TOURO COLLEGE OF PHARMACY

TOURO UNIVERSITY – CALIFORNIA
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HEALTH SCIENCES
COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE
COLLEGE OF PHARMACY

TOURO UNIVERSITY – NEVADA
COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
    School of Education
    School of Nursing
    School of Occupational Therapy
    School of Physical Therapy
COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE
    School of Physician Assistant Studies

TOURO COLLEGE WORLDWIDE
TOURO COLLEGE – LOS ANGELES

INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
LANDER INSTITUTE MOSCOW
TOURO COLLEGE BERLIN
TOURO COLLEGE FRANCE
TOURO COLLEGE ISRAEL